When cities around the globe were vying to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, Joyce Landry and Josephine Kling were rooting for Rio de Janeiro to win the nod from the International Olympic Committee.
Their Miami-based company, Landry & Kling, helped Brazilian leaders propose a plan to use cruise ships as floating hotels to augment hotel bed capacity in Rio, which clinched the games Oct. 2 to become the first South American nation to host the games.
``We provided letters of interest saying that cruise lines would be interested in charters if Rio were to win,'' says Landry, chief executive of Landry & Kling, which she founded 27 years ago with Kling, who is president.
The firm specializes in planning and overseeing meetings, corporate and incentive programs, and charters on cruise ships. It's a destination-management company for cruise ships.
Back in 1982, the former Holland America Line managers foresaw the fledgling cruise industry was on the verge of blossoming into a big business, but it was missing the boat on a big potential market -- onboard business meetings and incentives. The friends launched their startup using bonus money Landry received for her work at Delta Queen Steamboat and Kling's baccarat winnings from a Las Vegas trip.
Now Landry & Kling has $20 million in annual revenue and 27 employees and is synonymous with meetings at sea, though it has a host of competitors vying for the same niche.
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